Proceedings Journal Article — The Theoretical Construction of a Latino Oppositional Culture in Samuel Huntington’s “The Hispanic Challenge” — by Jorge Capetillo-Ponce


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Having presented his views previously regarding the so-called “Clash of Civilizations,” Samuel Huntington recently published another influential essay that draws again sharp boundaries between two cultural traditions, Anglo-Protestant and Latino, as a key methodological element, but this time the cultural antagonists exist side by side within one country: the United States. Entitled “The Hispanic Challenge,” the essay appeared in the March/April 2004 issue of Foreign Policy magazine, shortly after Said’s death. My objective in this paper is to look closely, inspired by Edward Said’s work on Orientalism, at the theoretical tradition that Huntington’s latest work both stands on and furthers,the one that has made possible his vision of an “abnormal” or “unnatural” Latino culture. Doing so will help us to understand how Huntington isable to so passionately depict a Latino oppositional will or culture, and to adopt such a deeply pessimistic view of Latino nonassimilation as a trend which, if left unchecked, will prove itself uniquely capable of undermining the unity of a United States that has stood proudly on the solidbedrock of Anglo-Protestant values and the English language.

Recommended Citation

Capetillo-Ponce, Jorge. 2005. “The Theoretical Construction of a Latino Oppositional Culture in Samuel Huntington’s “The Hispanic Challenge”.” Pp. 145-158 in Theories and Praxes of Difference: Revisiting Edward Said in the Age of New Globalizations: Proceedings of the Second Annual Social Theory Forum, April 6-7, 2005 (Discourse of Sociological Practice, Vol. 7, Issues 1&2, Fall/Spring 2005). Double-Issue Guest Editor: Mohammad H. Tamdgidi. Sociology Department, UMass Boston.

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